Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm so dizzy, my head is spinnin'

We’ve now got the results of the analysis of Piglet’s stone from Minnesota (100% ammonium acid urate, which was pretty much expected) and a report on how to manage the situation. You’d think that’d make it simple, but in fact it only creates more dilemmas (dilemmae?). Encourage him to drink as much as possible – not a problem; he’ll drink a couple of pints of water containing a hint of milk, then an hour later go out and pee for England. We should allow him to urinate as often as possible – see previous answer. Prevent him getting overweight – if only! It’s always been difficult getting him to put weight on! Then it gets tricky. The recommendation is that he should be fed exclusively ‘Brand X’ food with only distilled water to drink. No chance. That food would cost a quarter of our gross income, even with my staff discount. Even more seriously, I’ve been sent a report which states that the long-term feeding of this diet (and others severely limited in protein) has been linked with several cases of congestive heart failure (in the dogs, not the owners!); out of the frying pan into the fire.

So my chosen task, with the help of others who’ve been in this situation as well as the UK and American breed clubs – because this is a breed trait – is to devise a diet which is low in high-purine proteins but can be fairly high in low-purine proteins. Yes, exactly.

It's also suggested that fewest crystals are found in the urine if the dog is fed once (in the afternoon, not the morning) rather than twice daily. But feeding once daily increases the risk of gastric dilatation and torsion, which is another emergency.

Nothing's ever simple.